Student Government Vice President Sara Alqaragholy speaks alongside Dearborn Chief of Police Ray Haddad, former U.S. Rep. John Dingell and current U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell at a rally following the violence in Charlottesville, Va. in August. (Jack VanAssche/MJ)

By: Sarah Martin, News Editor

Student Government has worked on numerous initiatives throughout the Fall 2017, many of which will continue into the next semester. Sara Alqaragholy, the Vice President of Student Government, listed some of the current projects they’re working on.

“Everyone knows there’s an issue with parking,” Alqaragholy said, “We understand enrollment is going up and we can’t keep parking the way it is—we have to keep up with the growing enrollment.”

Student Government is in the process of creating a temporary parking committee that will analyze the current parking situation, enrollment growth, and the university’s plan for development on campus by 2020.

Student Government has also worked with Campus Safety throughout the semester to identify “problem areas” on campus where there is low lighting or cracked sidewalks.

“We did a walkthrough of the campus at night with Campus safety to find areas where student may feel uncomfortable,” Alqaragholy said, “Some of the problems areas we found were between the University Center and Natural Science Building, and by the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems (IAVS).”

Student Government Vice President Sara Alqaragholy speaks during a rally by LEO lecturers in November. (Aubree Stamper/MJ)

Public Safety is currently working on changes in these areas, according to Alqaragholy.

“We’re also working towards establishing a category at UM-Dearborn for Middle Eastern and North African students that identify as white on the US Census,” Alqaragholy said, “This is a an important issue because by misidentifying students’ ethnicities we can’t accurately know how many students we’re serving in that area.”

Alqaragholy said that the university does not currently have data from students that identify as being Middle Eastern or North African. By implementing the new category, which would read Middle Eastern/North African, it would allow staff and Student Government to better understand the needs of students.

The category would appear on the common application to the university and on any surveys sent out by the university.

“The Ann Arbor Student Government is on board and already working towards issuing resolutions and we’re trying to get the Flint campus onboard.” Alqaragholy said.

UM-Dearborn Student Government is currently working with students to gather support before going to the Board of Regents.

“We already have support from the Arabic Student Union (ASU), Lebanese Student Association (LSA), Chaldean American Student Association (CASA), PRIDE, and the Black Student Union (BSU).” Alqaragholy said, “It’ll really help everyone in the end.”

The ongoing search for the Dean of Students has been narrowed down to four candidates. Alqaragholy said “there will be student forums for each of the candidates in the upcoming weeks, and the new Dean of Students may be announced by the end of the Winter 2018 semester.”

Forums for the possible candidates took place from late November through Dec. 11.